Monday, March 1, 2021

No voting allowed for Covid-19 patients

This is to reduce the risk of virus transmissions, minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob says.

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Those who are Covid-19 positive will not be allowed to vote in the Sabah state election on Saturday, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob says.

He said the decision was made at a special meeting of ministers to reduce the risk of virus transmissions.

“We have considered. Those who are positive and receiving treatment in hospital will not be allowed to vote.

“We do not want (to create) a polling cluster,” he said in a press conference in Putrajaya today.

However, those who are symptomatic will be taken to a special polling area prepared by the Election Commission (EC) to cast their ballots, he added.

Ismail also said those under quarantine will be allowed to vote but must apply to the district health office for an allotted time to be taken to the special polling area.

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal, who is Warisan president, had suggested that the EC provide the space and SOPs for Covid-19 patients to cast their ballots in the state election.

A total of 16,877 people comprising police and military personnel as well as their spouses were eligible for early voting at 55 polling centres throughout the state today.

Ismail also reminded candidates and party workers to practise strict self-regulation when campaigning.

“For example, we are not against house-to-house campaigning but hope that the number involved can be reduced, that is, only one or two persons enter the house to meet voters,” he said.

For ceramahs, the basic SOP limiting attendance to 30 people should be observed, he added.

Asked about the time slots allotted by the EC for voting, Ismail said these were not meant as a rule, only a guide to prevent congestion at polling centres.

“You can still go and vote if you cannot stick to the time suggested by the EC.

“Do not misunderstand that you will not be allowed to vote outside the stated time,” he said.

He also rubbished reports claiming that a four-day lockdown would be imposed in three villages in Semporna, Sabah.

“I never announced that. It lacks logic because there has never been a four-day lockdown. Normally, an enhanced movement control order is for 14 days. So it’s fake news,” he said.

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